Entries in Twitter (20)


Teen London Marathoner Starts Boston Twitter Campaign

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)(LONDON) -- Despite the bombing at Monday’s running of the Boston Marathon, leaving three dead and more than 170 injured, the London Marathon will proceed as scheduled Sunday.

Londoner Amelie Hunton, 18, will be participating in Sunday’s race, and she wants to make sure the people of Boston know the London runners are with them.

“I set up the campaign [@LONDON4BOSTON] for runners to acknowledge their bond beyond borders and support all those in Boston,” Hunton told ABC News.

Her hope is to get as many runners as possible to wear a green ribbon around their wrist as they complete the London Marathon Sunday.

The Twitter page Hunton created reads, “GREEN RIBBON DURING THE LONDON MARATHON in support of those in Boston who were killed, injured or just shocked and those who were denied a chance to finish.”

Hunton has been running since age 9, but this weekend’s race will be her first full marathon.

Since creating the Twitter page Tuesday, Hunton said she has already received a lot of support, both on Twitter and on the radio in England. She said she has been in contact with the organizers of the London Marathon in an attempt to get her green ribbon effort officially adopted.

About launching this grassroots effort, Hunton said, “I have not done anything like this before but was inspired to start this campaign after seeing the shocking images on the news last night.”

Representatives for the London Marathon have said the race will be issuing each runner a black ribbon to wear as a sign of “solidarity” with the people of Boston. There will also be a 30-second period of silence observed before the beginning of each of the three different starts Sunday.

Police in London were reviewing security plans for the London Marathon on Monday night.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Pope Benedict XVI Sends His First Tweet

Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday sent his first tweet since opening his Twitter account earlier this month.

The post from his account, @Pontifex, read: "Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart."

The pope also tweeted the same message in seven different languages: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, Arabic and French.  The Vatican launched separate accounts for all eight languages on Dec. 3 and said additional languages may be added in the future.

‏The pontiff is expected to post more tweets on Wednesday, likely in response to questions on faith.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Top Israeli Official’s Facebook, Twitter Accounts Hacked

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A group of pro-Palestinian hackers apparently managed to hack the social networking accounts of Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom and has promised to release a trove of the top official’s private emails.

Though the Israeli government now appears to have regained control of the accounts, screenshots posted on various news outlets overnight show Shalom’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts plastered with pro-Palestinian messages.  An official at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., confirmed the hacking incident.

A group calling itself ZCompanyHackingCrew (ZHC) boasted about the hack on Twitter and claimed it had also accessed Shalom’s personal email account where they stole “his contacts, docs [documents], and some other interesting stuff.”  The group said it plans to release them online “very soon.”

ZHC specified that it is not part of the loose hacking collective Anonymous, which has declared its own cyber war against Israel.

Wednesday morning, ZHC taunted Shalom on Twitter, asking, “How was your day Mr. Vice Prime Minister?”

The messages purportedly posted by the hackers have been deleted from Shalom’s Facebook and Twitter and the deputy prime minister has apparently not made public statements with either account since the incident.

Shalom did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this report.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pope Benedict XVI to Join Twitter

L'Osservatore Romano Vatican Pool via Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- The Vatican announced on Thursday that Pope Benedict XVI would start tweeting from his own Twitter account.

Benedict, 85, sent a tweet last year from a Vatican account.  It’s believed that since he rarely uses a computer he will simply dictate tweets, but not type them himself.

No word yet on what the pope's new handle will be or when the account will be launched.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Olympic Rules: One Bad Tweet and You're Out

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- A tweet insulting athletes from another country has cost a second Olympian a spot at the games.

Michel Morganella, one of the players on Switzerland’s Olympic men’s soccer team, sent out such a tweet following his team’s 2-1 loss to South Korea on Sunday. Morganella’s tweet said that Koreans should “burn themselves” and described them as “retards.”

Despite Morganella’s quick apology posted on his Twitter page, a prompt response from the Swiss team chief resulted in Morganella’s Twitter account deleted from the social networking site and his dismissal from the team.

Morganella is the second Olympian to get the boot because of a racially charged tweet. Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was left in Athens after her so-called “joke” about Africans in Greece.

“With so many Africans in Greece, at least the mosquitoes of West Nile will eat homemade food!!!” she tweeted.

The triple jumper was no longer welcome to travel to London with her fellow Greek athletes.

“Social media is, in the end, about how people are using it,” says social media expert Sree Sreenivasan, chief digital officer and professor at Columbia University. “Social media doesn’t change the people who are using it and racism has been part of human nature and part of sports for centuries.”

He added, “Twitter is like athletes having their own press conference.”

The International Olympic Committee created “IOC Social Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelines” which clearly states that upon noncompliance of the guidelines an athlete can be stripped of their Olympic Games accreditations.

“These athletes know they live in a world of sponsorships, public opinion and their fans,” said Sreenivasan.  “The world today is about branding, having a following, having people cheer you on and social media has a role in that, social media can build you up.”

Social media can also break you down. An inappropriate tweet can send you out of London, out of the Olympics and straight home faster than you can tweet your apology. Game over.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Olympics 2012: London Eye Ferris Wheel Changes Color Based on Tweets

EDF(LONDON) -- London is jumping on the trend to bring Twitter to inanimate objects. On the heels of Stanley, the piano that took requests via Twitter, the London Eye Ferris Wheel is getting some Twitter integration.

For the next two months (through the end of the Paralympics), the EDF Energy London Eye, situated on the Thames River, will change the color of its lights based on London’s Twitter sentiment. EDF Energy, the official electric supplier and sponsor of the 2012 Olympics, has partnered with Boston-based Sosolimited, a company specializing in art and technology, to bring the tweets to the wheel.

“For the Olympics [the EDF] really wanted to capture the energy of the nation. They approached us about how to turn the sentiment of the nation into a value that we could express on the London Eye,” John Rothenberg, Sosolimited’s co-founder, told ABC News.

Just like the technology behind Stanley, a program collects tweets specifically within the city of London about the Olympics; it looks for hashtags and specific words. Those tweets are then filtered and run through SentiStrength’s algorithm that figures out if the tweet is full of positive or negative energy.

The operators of the show can then look at the overall energy on a minute-by-minute basis. Each 24 hours of data is then compressed into a 24-minute light show. The show happens twice a night, at 9 and 10.

“A lot of people expected the sentiment to be negative, but we found it is actually quite positive. The vast majority of people are enthusiastic about the Olympics,” Rothenberg said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Twitter File Suggests Obama’s Inauguration More Fun Than Putin’s

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- A video on YouTube comparing President Obama’s inauguration with that of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s on Monday is making the rounds on Twitter in Russia. So far it has been viewed nearly 44,000 times since it was uploaded on Monday.

The six and half minute clip juxtaposes images of smiling, cheering Americans attending Obama’s Jan. 20, 2009 ceremony on the National Mall with the vacant streets of central Moscow as Putin’s motorcade drove silently to the Kremlin for his swearing in. Those streets had been cleared by police to prevent any protests along his route, but they also ensured the streets were devoid of cheering supporters as well.

While Obama is shown smiling and waving as they walked along the parade route to the White House, Putin’s face remains serious, almost dour, as he strides into the opulent hall where he took the oath of office with similarly unflinching stare. When Obama’s family is shown waving to the crowd, the video includes a shot of Putin’s wife, who is rarely seen in public, who appears to be swaying nervously. Obama, meanwhile, is seen swaying with his wife Michelle during their dance at one of the inaugural balls.

The video also pointedly splices in clips of this week’s police violence as Moscow riot police have cracked down on opposition demonstrators. On Monday they raided restaurants and cafes, even a McDonald’s, looking for potential protesters. Several people have been arrested throughout the week simply for wearing white ribbons, the symbol of the opposition, as they walked down the street.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Church of England Looks to Twitter for Leader

KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The Church of England has been around since the 1530s, but leaders are turning to a modern means of communication to choose its new leader.

The UK Telegraph reports the church is using the social networking site Twitter to reach out to people all over the world to get feedback on who would be best to lead the church into the future. The Crown Nominations Commission will take names until May and eventually winnow down a list of possible successors to Dr. Rowan Williams as the Archbishop of Canterbury.  

Williams announced earlier this month that he'll step down in December.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Officials Say Kim Jong Un Assassination Rumors Untrue

Dieter Depypere/Bloomberg via Getty Images(BEIJING) -- The Internet was abuzz with rumors Friday that North Korea’s newly installed leader, Kim Jong Un, was assassinated during a trip to Beijing, but U.S. officials are debunking the reports as not true.

Several U.S. officials contacted by ABC News said there was no validity to the reports that originated on a Chinese social media site and soon spread to Twitter.

“There’s nothing to this,” said one U.S. official, who added that there were no indications that the reports were true.

Another U.S. official said, “Our experts are monitoring the situation and we see no abnormal activity on the [Korean] peninsula and nothing that credits that tweet as accurate.”

North Korean troop movements on the North Korean side of the border are often an indicator that the country’s leadership is preparing for tense situations, much as what happened when Kim Jong Un assumed power late last year.

Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter, saw a spike in traffic repeating uncorroborated reports that Kim had been assassinated during a visit to Beijing.

The story gained traction on Twitter with re-tweets of what appeared to be confirmation of the reports by two BBC Twitter accounts.  However, a BBC Web article reported those twitter handles were fakes and have since been closed.

Friday’s Internet rumors were not the first time that Kim has been the focus of social media rumors.  In early January, postings to Sina Weibo began to appear claiming that Kim had been overthrown in a military coup.  Since then, the Chinese government has been eliminating those postings from the site.  The same is happening with Friday’s rumors on the social media site.

There were also rumors that Kim Jong Un had ordered the assassination of his half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, the eldest of Kim Jong Il’s children, who was passed over as his successor.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Twitter to Censor Tweets Country By Country?

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Twitter announced Thursday that it now has the ability to selectively block tweets country by country.

A post, titled "Tweets still must flow," on the company's blog Thursday said that, until now, administrators at the micro-blogging site could only account for any one country's mandated limits on expression by removing content globally.  As of Thursday, Twitter now has the ability to "reactively withhold content from users in a specific country -- while keeping it available in the rest of the world," the blog post states.  The site also notes users can be notified when content is blocked and why.

Twitter explained that international growth means entering "countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression." For example, the company notes France and Germany's restriction on pro-Nazi content.

Though Twitter has not used this ability yet, but says it plans to maintain transparency with users by notifying them of blocked content and clearly identifying content that's been withheld.

Some of the site's users have already expressed their opposition to the decision's impact on freedom of expression.

"Say goodbye to your global twitter community," tweets the user @Steckel.

"All aboard the Censor Ship!" @YourAnonNews writes.

It should be noted that Twitter has been key to groups organizing some of the last year's biggest social and political events -- namely the London riots, the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring. Iran and Egypt both blocked the service in retaliation to the protests being organized via Twitter. The service also does not operate in China, but similar sites have become popular there.

Promoters of free speech are sure to be unhappy with the announcement. Still, Twitter maintains it will be true to user expression.

"One of our core values as a company is to defend and respect each user’s voice. We try to keep content up wherever and whenever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can't. The Tweets must continue to flow," the company says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio